Tackle and Tactics
Mike Ladle

Information Page.

Tobago in February.

My epal Rob came back from his holiday in Tobago in late February and sent me the following account of his trip. It sounds as though the shore fishing was spectacularly good in the first week of his trip. Let’s hope that it is the same for me when I go (fat chance). It makes me hanker for the sun and the blue sea.

Hi Mike,

Back from another two weeks in the sun so here's a summary of my fishing exploits. The first week kicked off with a bang, a lot of fish were caught and lost. The snook, barracuda, bonefish and houndfish were thick on the ground providing excellent sport. The bones gave me a hard time once again, two beauties were hooked , none landed. (I'm just not lucky when it comes to bonefish). Later on I had a third one charging at my angel kiss lure so fast that it ended up 'snout-diving' into the sand by my foot.

I couldn't have a real shot at the jacks, though some big ones were hauled in by the local lads. They said that January had been an excellent month for the 'cavallies'. They caught more in that one month than they had last year altogether. Even though the tarpon weren't around in large numbers I still had a chance to hook a monster which managed to cut the line on the rocks in a matter of a few seconds. During the first week of my vacation I had a few sessions with a gentleman by the name of Tim Stones, from Dorchester. On one of the occasions Tim beached a couple of small jacks and lost a good one right before landing it (straightened treble, nothing new here). For our next few sessions we fished the same area which produced nothing but lost fish, including some in the monster-league. (snook, and something enormous that didn't stay attached long enough to reveal itself.)

The second week kicked off just as good as the first but as the days passed things quietened down gradually. I guess I can partially blame this on the conditions as the tides didn't work in my favour at all. As a consequence, the fishing on the flats in daylight hours was still prolific but the morning and the evening sessions on the beaches at low tide were completely fishless. In addition, I swung into the second week with a strained back which limited my mobility for a good couple of days, so intense plugging was off my agenda. Instead, I tried float fishing for the bones and whatever I might come across but unfortunately this approach , in relatively high water , didn't pay off at all. Over the 'resting ' period I caught a hard fighting ladyfish which managed to pull the tail treble into my hand while I was unhooking it. I had no choice but to get my girlfriend to rip the hook out of my hand with a pair of pliers. It was an excellent experience, to say the least.

All in all it was a fantastic vacation with excellent fishing!!

I wish you a superb stay in May!!

All the best,


Perhaps the jacks and the tarpon will oblige for this year's holiday - it would be nice to think so anyway.

If you have any comments or questions about fish, methods, tactics or 'what have you.'get in touch with me by sending an E-MAIL to - docladle@hotmail.com


No doubt these made the line hiss through the water.'


As usual the big one got away.'

Snook 2.

Another one for Rob.'

Scorpion fish.

I'm not so keen on these.  They have sharp spines and venom glands a bit like weevers.  Best to use the forceps or pliers.'